EPA Grants Florida Water Regs Reprieve

EPA has agreed to a one-month extension on imposing controversial water pollution standards for Florida.

It will use the extra time to review public input. The agency’s decision comes on the heels of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson asking EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to delay the start of the new rules due to voluminous public comment.

“I support new water standards but many Florida residents, municipalities, businesses and farmers have expressed concern about the potential cost of these standards and the validity of the science,” Nelson said about his request for more time for the government to consider public input.

The EPA was poised to impose the new water pollution standards for Florida on Oct. 15. The agency’s decision now means they won’t go into effect until Nov. 15.

The proposed water quality regulations have drawn criticism from many local governments, businesses and agricultural interests in Florida. The rules would impose strict numeric limits on the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that can be present in Florida lakes, rivers, and streams. But some local governments contend the new standards could even apply to drainage ditches and wastewater treatment plant discharges, thereby making them impossible to meet.

Below is text of Nelson’s letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

September 16, 2010

The Honorable Lisa Jackson
Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

Dear Administrator Jackson,

As you are aware, in January the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule to establish numeric nutrient criteria for Florida lakes, flowing waters, and clear springs.

As we have discussed, I share the concerns many Florida residents, municipalities, businesses, and farmers have about the potential cost of compliance with these standards and the validity of the science. I believe you made the right decision to submit the portions of the rule related to downstream values, canals, coastal, and estuarine waters to the EPA Science Advisory Board for peer review and delay finalizing those rules until August 2012. However, I am concerned that the rule for lakes, streams, and springs is still set to be finalized on October 15, 2010.

On August 3, 2010, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register soliciting comments on new data and options to divide the watershed regions of the state. This publication was followed by a thirty-day public comment period. As I understand it, EPA has received thousands of comments on this rule. Given the large amount of input, I urge you to delay finalizing the rule for lakes, streams, and springs and allow ample time to fully consider the comments.

Clean water is a goal we all share. That is why it is imperative that this regulation is finalized in a deliberative manner, utilizing sound science and considering the effects of implementation. Rushing to finalize the rule could result in further uncertainty and unnecessary economic hardship for municipal governments and Florida industry.

I look forward to your response and thank you in advance for your efforts to ensure that the concerns of Floridians are fully considered when deciding how to finalize and implement this rule.

Sincerely,
Bill Nelson

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Grapes
June 26, 2017
Washington Grape Grower Battles New Threat
Apples, cherries, and pears are also threatened by Tobacco Ringspot Virus, a pathogen never before seen in Washington state. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 26, 2017
Cosmic Changes Coming in Production [Opinion]
‘Cosmic Crisp’ is an apt moniker for Washington’s new apple, because the changes coming to the industry are immense Read More
Crop Protection
June 25, 2017
Study Suggests Closer-Proximity Lures Help Increase Insect Pest Catches
Research shows single-trap locations are not as effective as those kept close together. Read More
girl on smartphone
GenNext Growers
June 24, 2017
Find the Food Safety Apps That Are Right for You
There are a lot of choices available for growers. We’ve sifted through them to help figure out which ones will best suit you. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 23, 2017
Take Advantage of Technology to Help Manage Diseases, Pest Pressure
Expert farm advisers provide several options for apple orchard management decisions. Read More
Mobile technology farming
Citrus
June 22, 2017
Technology Boom Boosting Farm Life to a New Level [Opinion]
Whether it is human genetics or genetics applied to plants, knowledge is growing at a dizzying pace. Read More
Crop Protection
June 21, 2017
Certis Bolsters Biopesticide Business Portfolio with Acquisition
Addition of LAM International to allow for expansion of product development. Read More
Food Safety
June 21, 2017
Organization Seeks Winegrape Exemption Produce Safety Rule
California Association of Winegrape Growers says because winegrapes are grown for processing, they should be exempt from produce safety rule. Read More
Crop Protection
June 21, 2017
Early-Season Scouting Tips for Sweet Corn Growers
Black cutworm and true armyworm have been caught in relatively high numbers across the Midwest, including Michigan. Learn more about determining risk and scouting in your sweet corn plantings. Read More
honeybee with varroa mite
Citrus
June 21, 2017
Study Suggests Modern Beekeeping Gives Varroa Mites Ideal Conditions to Spread
Parasite has adapted, thrived with colonies in modern hives. Read More
More Vegetables
June 21, 2017
Variety Specs | Production Tips: Pumpkin ‘Bayhorse Gold’ from Rupp Seeds
Each month, American Vegetable Grower® will offer growing tips on specific varieties, supplied by the breeder or distributor. This month, Read More
Citrus
June 21, 2017
Storm Runoff May Recharge Aquifers and Your Crops
A new study hints that tapping into storm water during dry years does more than increase water table levels. Read More
Citrus greening and psyllids
Insect & Disease Update
June 21, 2017
First Case of Deadly Citrus Disease Confirmed in Alabama
State agriculture officials taking action to assess and stop the spread of HLB.  Read More
Florida orange juice label close-up
Citrus
June 21, 2017
Help Consumers Read past Negative Headlines About Orange Juice
When it comes to this liquid sunshine, there are plenty of positives to point out. Read More
Cucurbit leaf crumple virus
Cucurbits
June 20, 2017
Take Caution to Curb Cucurbit Leaf Crumple Virus
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this disease. Read More
The Latest
Grapes
June 26, 2017
Washington Grape Grower Battles New Thre…
Apples, cherries, and pears are also threatened by Tobacco Ringspot Virus, a pathogen never before seen in Washington state. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 26, 2017
Cosmic Changes Coming in Production [Opi…
‘Cosmic Crisp’ is an apt moniker for Washington’s new apple, because the changes coming to the industry are immense Read More
Crop Protection
June 25, 2017
Study Suggests Closer-Proximity Lures He…
Research shows single-trap locations are not as effective as those kept close together. Read More
GenNext Growers
June 24, 2017
Find the Food Safety Apps That Are Right…
There are a lot of choices available for growers. We’ve sifted through them to help figure out which ones will best suit you. Read More
Apples & Pears
June 23, 2017
Take Advantage of Technology to Help Man…
Expert farm advisers provide several options for apple orchard management decisions. Read More
Citrus
June 22, 2017
Technology Boom Boosting Farm Life to a …
Whether it is human genetics or genetics applied to plants, knowledge is growing at a dizzying pace. Read More
Crop Protection
June 21, 2017
Certis Bolsters Biopesticide Business Po…
Addition of LAM International to allow for expansion of product development. Read More
Food Safety
June 21, 2017
Organization Seeks Winegrape Exemption P…
California Association of Winegrape Growers says because winegrapes are grown for processing, they should be exempt from produce safety rule. Read More
Crop Protection
June 21, 2017
Early-Season Scouting Tips for Sweet Cor…
Black cutworm and true armyworm have been caught in relatively high numbers across the Midwest, including Michigan. Learn more about determining risk and scouting in your sweet corn plantings. Read More
Citrus
June 21, 2017
Study Suggests Modern Beekeeping Gives V…
Parasite has adapted, thrived with colonies in modern hives. Read More
More Vegetables
June 21, 2017
Variety Specs | Production Tips: Pumpkin…
Each month, American Vegetable Grower® will offer growing tips on specific varieties, supplied by the breeder or distributor. This month, Read More
Citrus
June 21, 2017
Storm Runoff May Recharge Aquifers and Y…
A new study hints that tapping into storm water during dry years does more than increase water table levels. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
June 21, 2017
First Case of Deadly Citrus Disease Conf…
State agriculture officials taking action to assess and stop the spread of HLB.  Read More
Citrus
June 21, 2017
Help Consumers Read past Negative Headli…
When it comes to this liquid sunshine, there are plenty of positives to point out. Read More
Cucurbits
June 20, 2017
Take Caution to Curb Cucurbit Leaf Crump…
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this disease. Read More
Berries
June 20, 2017
Don’t Be Fooled By Rust in Your Brambles
Knowing whether you have orange rust disease or cane leaf rust is important for proper control methods. Read More
Farm Management
June 20, 2017
5 Alternative Crops Florida Farmers Shou…
Here’s a look at new selections being vetted that might have a place in fields around the Sunshine State. Read More
Citrus
June 19, 2017
$9M in Grants Allocated to Address Ag Wa…
Projects that focus on drought stress, flooding, water quality, and postharvest use are among awardees. Read More